Hispanics More Confident of Personal Finances and the U.S. Economy Compared to a year ago, Latest FAU Poll Says

Aug 18, 2015, 11:06 ET from Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative

BOCA RATON, Fla., Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hispanics have grown steadily more confident in their personal finances over the past year, as well as the U.S. economy as a whole, according to the latest survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI) in the College of Business.

The July survey completes BEPI's first full year of polling Hispanics nationally, providing an evolving perspective of consumer sentiment over the last 12 months.

The Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) dropped slightly in July from the previous month, but at 93.8 posted a significant increase from where it stood in August 2014, when the CSI was just 68.3. The CSI hit a high of 100.7 in January 2015. All five components that make up the index have increased consistently compared to August 2014. Specifically, when Hispanics were asked about their current personal finances, 62 percent reported they are better off than a year ago, up from 45 percent in August 2014.

In addition, when asked their perceptions of personal finances a year from now, 72 percent of Hispanics surveyed expect their financial situation to be better in 2016, up from 50 percent in August 2014. Optimism toward business conditions also improved as the percentage of those who expect the country to experience good times financially in the next 12 months rose to 54 percent in July compared to 40 percent in August 2014.

"The positive trend in Hispanic consumer confidence can be due to the moderate recovery of the economy and the creation of new jobs," said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of BEPI.

The Current Economic Conditions (CEC) index dropped nearly five points from an all-time high of 103.49 in June to 98.08 in July, its third-highest mark since the study began in August 2014. In addition, the Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) dropped slightly to 91.03 in July from 95.19 in June, but stands higher than when the poll began in August 2014 (63.7).

The survey was conducted nationally July 1-31. The polling sample consisted of 500 Hispanics with a margin of error of +/- 4.33 percent and a 95 percent confidence level. For more information, visit BEPI or contact Monica Escaleras, Ph.D. at 561-297-1312, BEPI@fau.edu.

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SOURCE Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative